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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 04:38 AM Thread Starter
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Substrate Idea

So i am trying to plan out my aquascape starting with the substrate, i am thinking an inch layer of topsoil, topped with thin layer of sand, and in certain areas more sand and the other areas fluorite. So the whole tank will be layered, but some will have fluorite on the top and other area will have sand. For a broken up look. Any thoughts on this idea so far? or suggestions on pulling off the look of having some tank with sand other with gravel. Thanks guys.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 01:38 PM
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I can't comment on how it will look, that's a bit objective and it all depends on what else you plant on putting in there for the aquascape...although I have seen some sandy "beaches" and sand "paths" in tanks and they looked pretty neat.

I love dirt tanks, both of mine are. Careful where you get your topsoil though. If you decide on store bought use Miracle Grow Organic. Also, at one point you said a thin layer of sand on part of the tank...and that's fine, just keep in mind your going to want at least and inch of whatever on your topsoil to prevent accidental top soil explosions, lol.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 07:50 PM
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It would be a good idea to read al the threads on MTS and follow up with the ones on Aquascaping. Keep in mind pretty pictures of show tanks that are set up just for a show, might not be functional for the long term.

Last edited by DogFish; 10-25-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DogFish View Post
It would be a good idea to read al the threads on MTS and follow up with the ones on Aquascaping. Keep in mind pretty pictures of show tanks chart are set up just for a show, might not be functional for the long term.
MTS seems like a pain with the boiling and all, adding top soil or miracle grow organic wont work? also i don't plan on getting crazy with the aquascape like i have seen on some show tanks, i just wanted a little sand to contrast the dark fluorite.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:13 PM
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Sounds like a great idea to me. I saw a tank like this recently and liked it a lot. I would suggest you mix in some larger gravel also. I have a little tank on my desk that I mixed sand and fluorite in. I think it has too much sand and not enough fluorite on the surface. The top soil should help with the growth of the plants and the sand is just great when it comes to planting.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
MTS seems like a pain with the boiling and all, adding top soil or miracle grow organic wont work?
Dirt from your yard & dog [email protected] will work, pretty much anything will work...somethings work better longer. i actually was referring to the layers/cap you talked about. It's all good info.

You have to decide how much your effort vs. user friendly you want to deal with. This forum is full of I put potting soil in my tank...now my tan sucks threads.

At least read those and learn from their mistakes. Pretty much those folks we're also advised to be patient do some research to.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 10:46 PM
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Expecting 3 layers of substrate to not turn into one mess is like expecting the sun not to rise in the morning.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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Expecting 3 layers of substrate to not turn into one mess is like expecting the sun not to rise in the morning.
I thought layering was good, even if they ultimately blend together. At least thats what a lot of threads on here seem to be saying. I am still new to this, and don't claim to be an aquarium expert, so its not like i am just making this stuff up myself. I am taking it from collective info from various sources.


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Dirt from your yard & dog [email protected] will work, pretty much anything will work...somethings work better longer. i actually was referring to the layers/cap you talked about. It's all good info.
You have to decide how much your effort vs. user friendly you want to deal with. This forum is full of I put potting soil in my tank...now my tan sucks threads.
At least read those and learn from their mistakes. Pretty much those folks we're also advised to be patient do some research to.
I have been doing research and reading up on threads, which is why i posted this one. I am a month and a half from actually starting my tank with the substrate which is why i am still trying to gather as much information as possible.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
I thought layering was good, even if they ultimately blend together. At least thats what a lot of threads on here seem to be saying. I am still new to this, and don't claim to be an aquarium expert, so its not like i am just making this stuff up myself. I am taking it from collective info from various sources.




I have been doing research and reading up on threads, which is why i posted this one. I am a month and a half from actually starting my tank with the substrate which is why i am still trying to gather as much information as possible.
You have to at least have a cap over the soil, so you actually have to layer. So in that sense layering is good, but any layers other than that when functional (aka. Flourite on top of sand. Sand over flourite will swap over time back to flourite on sand) are a matter of personal taste.


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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:12 PM
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It sound good so far

Happy plantkeeping!
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post #11 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-25-2011, 11:14 PM
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This is basically what I have done. ADA PS, Amazonia II and Nile sand topped with Congo. It does not stay stratified...the more you replant the harder it is to keep it tidy...but it's working for me. I plan to refresh the sand and gravel occasionally.

No advise on topsoil.
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post #12 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
So i am trying to plan out my aquascape starting with the substrate, i am thinking an inch layer of topsoil, topped with thin layer of sand,
Quote:
Originally Posted by falcooo View Post
I have been doing research and reading up on threads, which is why i posted this one...
I'm not sure where your research took you that you came up with that combination. Most rooted plants are going to want 3 inches of substrate. Wether it's MTS, MGPS, or YDDP*(Yard Dirt & Dog Poop) most people use & suggest 3/4-1" of a sand cap.

If you read a bit more you'll lean your don't need to boil your top soil to make in into MTS.

In fact if you are a month out you can do a dry start now with regular top soil and in 30 days you'll be ready to add water.

I'm glad you are asking questions now vs. not asking questions and starting a my tank is a train wreck thread a week after you do set up.

* YDDP will be hence forth credited to DogFish,
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post #13 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:01 AM
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Dirt from your yard & dog [email protected] will work, pretty much anything will work...somethings work better longer.
Negator. Dog excrement will not work. You should NOT make compost from any meat eating creatures feces.

Stop Arresting Responsible Adults!
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post #14 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:07 AM
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LOL...that is all!
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post #15 of 27 (permalink) Old 10-26-2011, 01:09 AM
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I personaly thought about doing a dirt tank with sand on top because I didnt want to buy 1$ a pound substrate...but as a did research I decided that in the long run 4 bags of Eco-Complete would do me just fine! and I couldnt be happier, Well id be happier with 1 more bag of Eco-Complete...I may add this soon. but IMO dont mix to many things they are a pain to keep apart and if you do to thin of layers you will mix it all up as soon as you vacum the tank the first time.
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